Water is a precious resource, and knowing how to control its flow in and out of your home is a fundamental skill for any homeowner. Whether you’re facing a plumbing emergency or planning routine maintenance, understanding how to shut off the water mains in your home is not something that everyone is taught. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of shutting off your water supply. Whether you want to know how to handle unexpected water issues or want to embark on DIY plumbing renovation projects, here’s what you need to know when it comes to locating and turning off the water supply to your house.
Step 1. Locate the water metre
The first step is finding your water mains box. In most Australian residential houses, the shutoff valve that controls your water supply is located right next to your water metre which is usually located at the front of your property. However, you may find it in a different location in older homes such as in the backyard near the garden tap. In a unit or apartment, you’ll find a dedicated isolation tap just for your specific unit. This is usually placed in either your laundry or under your kitchen sink. If you can’t find it, don’t hesitate to call one of our plumbers for assistance.
Step 2. Turn the shutoff valve
Once you’ve located the water metre, you should be able to see a shutoff valve. You’ll need to use this to turn off your water supply. Carefully turn the valve clockwise to avoid any damage. If the valve is stiff or challenging to turn, use gentle pressure and consider applying a lubricant to make the task easier. If you’re struggling with bare hands, tools such as wrenches or pliers may help you further. If despite this you still cannot get the valve shut, it’s best to call in a licensed plumber to avoid any damage.
Step 3. Check the water shutoff valves have correctly turned off
To check that you’ve managed to successfully shut off the water supply to your home, you can now go and test some appliances or fixtures in your house to ensure no water comes out.
Step 4. Turning the water back on
Once you’re ready for the water to come back on, you turn the valve back anti-clockwise to turn the water mains back on.
Need help from a professional plumber? Call Swan’s Professional Plumbing!
Whether you need to turn the water off for an upcoming renovation or suspect a water leak, our friendly team is happy to help. As your local plumber servicing the entire Perth and Peel region, Swan’s Professional Plumbing is dedicated to providing prompt and reliable plumbing services.
The mains water supply refers to the system of pipes and infrastructure that delivers treated and potable (safe for drinking) water to homes, businesses, and other facilities within a community. In Perth, this water is typically sourced from groundwater, dams, or desalination plants. The water undergoes a treatment process to remove impurities and ensure it meets safety and quality standards before being distributed through a network of pipes.
Knowing how to locate and shut off the water supply to your home is important for several reasons. These include:
- Emergency plumbing situations: In the event of a water leak, burst pipe, or other plumbing emergencies, being able to quickly shut off the water can help minimise damage to your property until a plumber arrives. Water leaks can cause extensive and costly damage if not addressed promptly.
- Preventing water wastage: If you discover a leaking tap or shower, shutting off the water supply until a plumber arrives allows you to stop water wastage and prevent an increase in your water bill. It's an eco-friendly practice to address leaks promptly and conserve water resources.
- Renovations or maintenance: If you need to perform repairs or maintenance on your plumbing fixtures or appliances, shutting off the water supply is necessary. This prevents water from continuing to flow and allows you to work on the plumbing system safely.
If you can’t find your mains water supply tap and need it turned off, don’t hesitate to contact one of our friendly plumbers for assistance.
In most cases yes, you just won’t be able to shut off water to the entire complex. If you need to shut off the water supply to a specific unit or apartment, you usually have to rely on individual shut-off valves located within the unit itself. Common places to find these valves include under sinks, behind toilets, or near water-using appliances such as washing machines or dishwashers.